On your trip to Venezuela, one of the cities that is worth a visit is Maracaibo. It is located on the western shore of Lake Maracaibo and is a major tourist attraction in Zulia State. This city boasts its rich history and historical buildings from the colonial era. These attractions have already been discussed in the category of City Guide and Leisure Activities on this website.
Though Maracaibo is a large city, we tried to cover every location you must visit on your trip. Without going into the details of those places anymore, let us discuss what lies in the surroundings of this city – in particular the beaches present near Maracaibo.
Since we are talking about Maracaibo, it would not be fair if we do not mention Lake Maracaibo. In fact, it is the ancient lake this city is famous for. It is the second oldest lake in the world that pours water into the Gulf of Venezuela.
Unfortunately, the water there is slightly saline and is not good for frolicking and swimming. Also, the lake has seriously become polluted over the years. This is why we would recommend you to be extra careful while exploring this lake. It is a good place to appreciate the beauty of the nature. However, to swim in clean water and to explore attractive sandy beaches around, we suggest you take a ferry and head to the following neighboring islands.
When in Maracaibo, take a boat from Punta Arenas (one of the largest harbors in the country) to arrive in San Carlos Island. There you could enjoy white sandy beaches and swim in the clean water. Also, you can visit the historical Castillo de San Carlos – a fortress built to protect the residents of Maracaibo from pirate attacks in the seventeenth century. On your way to the island, you will see a lighthouse built on the lake’s entrance.
Bear in mind that ferries do not carry cars so you have to walk around the island to explore it.
To reach this tranquil island, you need to take a private boat from San Carlos Island. It is nearly two miles away from the island and consists of several beautiful beaches. La Playita, Copacabana and Calm Chocal are some of the popular beaches of the island visited by travelers prevalently. It also has a bunch of restaurants where delicious food is offered along with a couple of soda fountains.
Imagine yourself on an island where there are sand dunes, peacefulness and serenity. All this sounds to be a plot of a movie, however, it is apparently all too real and you can find this calmness on Zapara Island.
It is not only a favorite destination of many tourists, locals also visit this island for a wonderful respite. Being a home to miners and fishermen, there are no accommodation facilities for tourists. So make sure you leave the island as darkness falls. A good idea is to go back either to San Carlos Island or to Maracaibo.